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When creating your business, you want others to take you seriously, even if you are operating the company from your bedroom. If you want people to treat what you do with respect, you need to give your business a professional feel.
Life is made up of first impressions. Consider the people you meet each day. The way they present themselves in physical appearance and behavior will give you a first impression of them. So it is in the world of business. The way your company appears to others and the way you conduct yourself as the business owner will determine how others see you. A lack of care in what you do will ensure others will ignore you and move on to somebody else. Therefore, you want to create a positive perception.
To give your business credibility and to make it appear more professional than it might currently be, consider the advice below.
Separate your personal and business life
Firstly, consider your email address. If you use your personal email in correspondence to clients and other businesses, you may not be taken seriously as a professional. For example, Joe.Bloggs@emailprovider.com is fine for personal use, but something like Joe.Bloggs.CompanyName@emailprovider.com will give you added credibility.
When using social media to promote your business, you don’t want to confuse your personal and working life, either. Set up a separate Facebook page for your work, so you can advertise your product and give information in your status rather than letting your clients see a picture of the meal you ate last night. However, it is possible your clients will stumble across your personal page, or they may do so purposefully to see what kind of person you are. So always be careful in what you say and display, as you need to maintain a measure of self-respect. Your company can give live or die through your social media management, so use it wisely.
Attend industry gatherings
To get yourself noticed, you need to enter the world of business by participating in local meetings and forums to market yourself. Set up a business stand for your company at appropriate conferences, giving you the opportunity to meet other industry professionals, and advertise your product. Make sure you have business cards at the ready with your contact details, including your phone number and website address. These should be professionally designed, rather than something you have whipped up on your computer.
To give you added credibility, if you are confident in public speaking, give a talk at the gathering you attend, sharing your knowledge and wisdom with others. You will want to give an effective powerpoint presentation to help illustrate your talk, so use a company such as Buffalo 7 to help you develop something professional.
Work on your website
Your website is the perfect place to showcase your product and to make a statement about what your business stands for. However, it needs to look professional, with easy to navigate links and high-resolution pictures to make your product stand out. Don’t clutter the page with unnecessary details, such as overlong descriptions and too many images. A clean, minimalist look will serve your company better, with only the relevant information on display.
A blog page is your opportunity to share your work with others, but you will want to ensure this is regularly updated if you want people to know you still exist. Share information relevant to your clients, such as a guide in using your product, rather than entries which teeter over into your personal life.
Branding is important in making your company stand out from the crowd. Therefore, use online software to help you create a logo for your business, and display it on your website and any other promotional material you use.
Having a testimonial page will also add to your credibility. Encourage your clients and customers to leave positive feedback, as this will instill confidence to others in using your service.
Invent an assistant
You may operate your company on your own, with no other members of staff. However, the outside world doesn’t need to know that. To make your business seem bigger than it is, refer to your ‘assistant’ in communication on the phone or email. Large company bosses have assistants to do the mundane work, so even if your assistant isn’t real, other professionals will get the impression that you have someone to delegate to, while you are available to take on the important tasks.